Nestropter (sometimes called Irnestro, nicknamed the Iridium Planet) is the third planet of the Jena System. Its capital is the city of Neusüborg. Nestropter is a selena orbiting the M2 class Red Dwarf Jena. As with many planets orbiting dwarf stars, it is tidally locked to its parent star.
It has five moons, one of which orbits in a polar orbit.
It holds a tenuous atmosphere consisting of primarily N2 and CO2 with a surface pressure of about 56 Pa. The average surface temperature ranges around 28-30 oC.
Nestropter was somewhat unusual amongst the exo-worlds colonized in the late 23rd century. While most of its kind were easily habitable Terras, Nestropter has a comparatively hostile environment with no atmosphere.
In 2390, the Chinese-German joint venture which colonized the planet Vorstell had consolidated to form the corporation Zhiminvolk. As resources from the now-producing mines of Vorstell flowed in, the company tried to find a location to reinvest their profits and reuse their as-of-then unused colony ships. However, the company was unable to find a suitable, unclaimed Terra.
Otto Eichmann, the leader of the Vorstell expedition, was handed the task of selecting a planet of his liking and a share in its revenue as payment, having denied the initial offered fixed pay. In urban legends, he picked a random star from a list of known stars. However, according to Otto himself, he had considered the system in particular since before his first expedition.
After arrival in the Jena System on April 2390, the 1,500 colonists aboard the ICS Leiheng (well below the capacity of 5,000 due to a lack of Terra planets) decided to land on Nestropter after noticing its comfortable surface temperature.
Geological mapping probes quickly discovered the rich Iridium deposits scattered around the quickly-named Iridis Plateau. Realizing they had struck jackpot, the colonists rapidly unpacked their biodome and began mining operations. The first Iridium produced reached Helyar in late May and fueled further expansion of Zhiminvolk in the 22nd and 23rd centuries.
When the richest deposits were exhausted by early-25th century, Nestropter had a peak population of about 65,000,000, mostly miners. As of 2530 it has a comparatively small population of 5,700,000, still mainly working in the mining industry.
UFSS offered a terraforming for Nestropter in 2495. However, the miners and the citizens unanimously declined the offer, citing a lack of atmosphere as an advantage in the metal processing.
After the exhaustions of further deposits, the population of Nestropter continued to decline as more and more complex machineries were needed to extract ores from less accessible deposits and hence less workers were required. Additionally, continual human expansion meant that more and more pristine sources of Iridium was discovered, only slightly further out than Nestropter. The population continually declined in the first decamillenium, reaching a nadir of just 40,000 people by 9,700, who all depended on work for just one struggling mining corporation.
As the mining company was beginning to show signs of financial distress, the remaining inhabitants of the planet began to consider their options. These last inhabitants are mostly those with families who have lived on Nestropter for generations by now, and were not willing to abandon the planet to move elsewhere. Hence, they began an attempt to lobby the local government of the local sector to establish a hyperlane connection between Jena and Helyar .
By case of sheer luck, the department head of the local sector's hyperlane management unit could trace her ancestry from Nestropterians, and was sympathetic to the planet. While a direct hyperlane connection between Helyar and Nestropter was not an option, a hyperlane route which was previously planned to miss Jena by some 1-2ly was slightly extended, hence connecting Jena to the major routes and making it possible for passing spacecraft to stop by Jena easily. This allowed the mining company to continue operating for a period of time and generated additional business and jobs as the passing ships occasionally decided to load up on hydrogen fuel or provisions. During this respite from terminal decline, the 40,000 inhabitants and planetary government established the Nestropter Development Company (NDC) to explore and expand potential economic opportunities for the planet.
The NDC attempted several ventures with varying levels of success - in the first 300 years or so of its establishment, some basic industrial facilities were attracted to Nestropter due to its now newly accessible location, but it could not still compete with major systems with larger populations and hence a local market base. Regardless, this still managed to reverse the population decline of the planet as it grew to a population of 90,000 with the new industries and manufacturing facilities.
Around 10,300, the NDC began exploring the potential for tourism - this was initially dismissed as a poor idea as there were many mining planets even within fifteen light-years of Aegyn, but they quickly discovered that unlike Nestropter, most of those planets were either abandoned when the resources ran out or urbanized as Helyar's industrial sprawl extended into them. Nestropter's many abandoned dome-cities outside Neusüborg were in relatively prime condition, and were relatively well-maintained by the remaining population, and there was still some limited amount of Iridium mining in the planet. As it turned out, the massive scars left on the planet's surface by mining, the abandoned yet well-maintained cities, and perhaps most importantly the still-viable infrastructure and facilities which are not fully urbanized became an attraction. Tourists became arriving in small numbers by 10,320s, and by 10,400 there were dedicated travel routes from major nearby systems towards Nestropter. By 10,500, there was a direct tourist route between Aegyn and Nestropter.
The revenue generated by the tourists, of course, attracted many investors and the NDC handled them in general interest of the planet. Most of the population remained in Neusüborg, which going forward would contain over 95 percent of the planet's population. Increased activity in turn drew more investment into other sectors - due to NDC's efforts in advertising to capital-owning tourists - and light industrial activity in Neusüborg gradually began to generate higher-tech products, specializing in Iridium-related electronics and machinery.
During the 3rd millenium, virtually all economic activity in Nestropter centers on mining. Iridium and other Platinum group metals, ores and alloys consist of about 93.7% of its exports, giving it the nickname Irnestro. Even its second and third-most-important products are Copper and Nickel, which are generated as side products in Iridium production. It imports essentially all its biological resource requirements, including water. With the Iridium industry in the decline the local government is starting to increase production in agriculture, power generation, and manufacturing.
In the heights of the Iridium Craze, law and order were difficult to maintain in Nestropter. With immigrants coming in flocks the local government attempted to limit the numbers, failing miserably. In 2485, the government intervened, partially due to a plea from the local government and partially to ensure a stable supply of metals. Some residents criticized this move as a price-controlling cartel set by SepMinPLC, whose private mines at Lonrho compete directly with the free mining operations in Nestropter. For 80 years, extremely strict laws and punishments were implemented especially for immigrant miners. To the surprise of many, this managed to cut down on crime rates. Local authority was restored in 2438 as miners began to leave Nestropter in search of a richer quarry. The local government is a representative democracy, sending a member to the Yohjan senate until 4600 when the population of Nestropter had dropped low enough for the seat to be reassigned.
During the boom period, various backgrounds of the miners arriving in Nestropter caused it to be a major interstellar melting pot. Hence, it would not be difficult to find cuisine sourcing from another side of human-occupied space in major biodomes such as Neusüborg. Some local culture have also developed, although it was initially minor in comparison to external factors.
As time passed and immigration dried up, the remaining residents of Nestropter developed their own unique culture more and moreso.